What a Nice Guy by Phil Torcivia

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Swear


Where did I pick up such a potty mouth? Phew. Some of the expletives I release make even me blush. Naturally, I attract ladies with impeccable vocabulary and they’re none to impressed by my creative cussing.

Here’s my justification: I need to swear in order to release stress. If I hold it in, I’m going to get a sour belly.

The most fearful Christians employ the interesting method of changing an obvious curse into a pardon granted due to technicality. You know the type—something awful happens like, say, Tim’s reading glasses plop into the public john when he bends over to re-tuck his willy and he lets it fly: “God bless it.”

He must be joking. There’s no way Tim wants God to bless the fact that he’s going fishing in his own puddle of urine, spit, and discarded chewing gum to retrieve some cheaters, which cost under $10 at Costco for three. If there were a God, he should peel back the mall roof and do as he was asked, thereby making Tim’s next commode trip culminate in a Blackberry splashdown.

When I was ten-ish on the Little League mound, I often missed my target and occasionally attempted to recalibrate by exclaiming, “Fuck!” It was ill advised indeed, as my Sicilian father (who cursed like Richard Pryor on fire) didn’t have the hearing problems I have and threatened to feed me Ivory cakes until I repented.

Roll forward forty years and I still can’t throw a goddamn (sorry) strike. I foolishly invited my latest dating-disaster-in-training to the game before realizing she is very, very Christian and is bruised by words I find therapeutic. I gave up hit number five in a row and yelled, “Fuck me! I suck. If I hit another goddamn bat like that I’m retiring.” I saw her nun’s habit fray and ignite. After the inning finally ended, I visited Sister Mary of the Silver-Tongued.

“I’m sorry you had to see that.”
“Well, that wasn’t very nice.”
“I know. That fucking guy can’t even bat his weight and he hit a double.”
“I was referring to your cursing.”
“Huh?”
“I’m sorry, I just don’t approve of taking the Lord’s name in vain.”
“Oh. I apologize. Can I say ‘fuck’?”
“That’s even worse.”
“Jesus … oops, sorry.”
“That’s OK. Better luck next inning. Aren’t you up next?”
“Ah, yes. Be right back.” I took a few steps, stopped, and pleaded, “Say, how about ‘shit’?”
“Really?”
“Fine.”

I grabbed my helmet, took some practice swings, and stepped into the box. Both the ump and the catcher remarked that my woman in the stands must have a complete lack of self-esteem or serious vision problems to be dating me. I held in the naughty word and watched strike one go by—a cock (not the swear-word type) shot. I fouled off strike two and then was called out on a breaking pitch I should have crushed. I had to say something.

“Fart bubbles.”
“What did you just say?” the ump asked while removing his mask. I think the catcher went into convulsions.
“Fart bubbles,” I repeated as I glanced toward my saintly guest, who did not nod the approval I expected.
“I should toss your sorry ass for that. What the fuck’s wrong with you, son?”
“That pitch was doo-doo,” I said as I sulked back to the bench and took another well-deserved beating from my teammates.

Gosh darn it.

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